Acupuncture & Endometriosis caused Infertility

Can acupuncture really help with infertility caused by ovarian endometrioma(s)? 

Over the past year I have worked exclusively with an acupuncture clinic focusing on reproductive issues and infertility. Based on my experience, I have come to believe that acupuncture can be used to successfully treat infertility and when paired with IVF can increase the likelihood of carrying a pregnancy to full term. 

First, let’s define infertility. A diagnostic evaluation for infertility is indicated for women who fail to achieve a successful pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected intercourse. Since approximately 85% of couples may be expected to achieve pregnancy within that time interval without medical assistance, it may be deduced that as many as 15% of couples are suffering from infertility! 

Ovarian endometrioma is a benign, estrogen-dependent cyst found in women of reproductive age. Symptoms are not limited to but may include extremely painful periods, excessive swelling during menses, painful sexual intercourse or pain during physical activity and chronic pelvic pain.  While the mechanisms in which endometriosis causes infertility are still being debated, egg quality and quantity are thought to be affected. Furthermore, this condition is known to distort pelvic anatomy, alter peritoneal function and impair uterotubal transport. 

How to manage your endometriosis?

Here are some basic lifestyle changes you can make:

  1. Exercise - it is a great way to decrease estrogen and inflammatory mediators, however, should be avoided during menses.

  2. Smoking - has been correlated to increase the severity of symptoms.

  3. Weight Loss (ONLY WHEN INDICATED) - endometriosis causes an excess of estrogen, which may cause some patients to gain weight.

Body work such as abdominal massage may also help to break up adhesions. 

How does acupuncture help? 

Acupuncture can help the body’s inability to properly absorb the endometrioma and stop the formation of new cysts. There are a myriad of acupuncture points which help break up stagnant blood as well as strengthen the body so that it can deal effectively with the problem. 

In conclusion, acupuncture as a part of a TCM based treatment, gives positive results and can be a successful non-surgical infertility treatment option in women with endometrioma(s). In a 2018 study, patients who received acupuncture treatments, were able to get pregnant spontaneously in a short period of time, as well as, decrease the dimensions of the ovarian endometrioma. The general recommendation is to come in for weekly acupuncture for at least 3 menstrual cycles to notice any results. 

If you or anyone you know if suffering from infertility caused by endometriosis you do not have to suffer in silence anymore. So please, Share and Like this blog post!